Three Ways Manufacturing Leaders Can Combat “Quiet Quitting”

Do you have a team member who is putting in minimal work, hesitating to share their feedback, or acting unmotivated on the manufacturing floor? You may be dealing with “quiet quitting.” Quiet quitting is when an employee feels unfulfilled or unhappy with their job but doesn’t officially quit. Instead, they continue to show up but do the bare minimum. When an employee shows signs of quiet quitting, it’s not a fun experience for anyone—especially leaders, who may wonder where they went wrong and what they can do to make their team member love their job again.

So what can manufacturing leaders do to combat quiet quitting? To find out more, I recently brought speaker and author Joe Mull onto the Mindfulness Manufacturing podcast to talk more about the tools and mindsets leaders can use to fight the phenomenon of quiet quitting.

Vacation: It’s A Need, Not Just a Want!

Everyone needs a vacation from time to time, but in today’s busy world, many employees struggle to take the time off they need. Oftentimes, this is because they’re worried about falling behind while they’re away or feel like they won’t enjoy their time off when they know their email inbox is filling up with hundreds of unread emails.

To help your employees feels confident about taking a vacation, Joe suggests creating boundary-focused policies. For example, allow employees to set an out-of-office message that directs any emails to another colleague. Or even a system that deletes any emails your employee receives while they’re on vacation! By creating policies like this, you show your team you’re serious about their boundaries, mental health, and ability to enjoy a well-deserved vacation.

Treat Your People Well

While you’ve probably heard others bemoaning that “no one wants to work anymore,” Joe spent some time in the podcast discussing why this statement actually isn’t true. People do want to work. However, they crave workplaces where they’ll feel respected. If a job has rigorous requirements and low pay, modern employees are more likely to leave it behind for a job where they’ll get the pay and respect they want. As a leader, you can retain your employees—and attract great new talent—by finding ways to give your employees a workplace where they don’t have to settle for less.

Tell a Good Story

While factors like fair pay and generous time-off are important to modern employees, your team members also want to feel like they’re making a difference. If employees go through the motions without believing in their work, it can lead to low morale and decreased productivity, and contribute to quiet quitting. To show their employees the value behind their work, Joe suggests leaning into storytelling. Show your employees the real people and voices behind their work.

For example, do they help create a product that keeps people safe? Are people’s lives changed by their work? Every company has a story! By showing how their work creates change in real time, leaders can help their employees feel excited to show up every day.

Learn More on the Podcast

To hear more from Joe Mull about the skills and mindsets leaders can use to fight quiet quitting, check out his episode of the Mindfulness Manufacturing podcast here.

At Manufacturing Greatness, Trevor Blondeel works with manufacturers to connect the top to the shop floor. If you’re ready to improve your own organization, contact Trevor to learn how Manufacturing Greatness can help you build stronger leaders and develop a dynamic, high-performing workplace.